Economic Development News Round-up froom The Florida Economic Development Council

President's Message

Good afternoon!

Typically as the holiday's approach, things slow down a bit. Not this year. FEDC is getting ready to kick off the holidays with our 2015 Annual Conference Committee planning call next week. Please mark your calendars for November 19th at 9:30 AM (EST). We are asking for your participation in our various committees - program, silent auction, exhibitors, fundraising and awards. The call in number is 712-432-0075 code 452692#. We hope you will join us! Add to your Calendar »

We had our Legislative Affairs call this week with many of you on the call. This is going to be a busy legislative session as there are many items to pursue. Over the next few weeks, we'll be gathering information on our statewide partners agendas and of course FEDC will lead the effort with Enterprise Zones. We must all plan to be engaged in the process, even if it is within your own community. Let's move Florida forward with jobs and sound economic development policy.

Lastly, many have registered for the 2015 Winter Symposium. Please make your reservations before Thanksgiving and the time for registering will come to a close shortly. Remember that in order to register for the symposium, you must log in as a member in order to get the member price. EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 19th - REGISTER NOW AND SAVE!

Amy L. Evancho
President & CEO
Florida Economic Development Council

News and Accomplishments

Read all of this week's news in the FEDC Newsroom

Space Coast Startup Weekend CANCELLED

Startup Weekend Space Coast, a 54-hour business competition for local entrepreneurs, has been canceled due to serious technical malfunctions which made it impossible for event coordinators to plan or oversee the contest. Refunds will be issued to those who purchased tickets to Startup Weekend Space Coast.
Read More »

Annual Community Update 2014: The Legacy of Leadership

The Tampabay Partnership's Annual Community is scheduled for Friday, November 21 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park (with registration and networking beginning at 11:30 a.m.). This year, the Partnership will focus on the "Legacy of Leadership" as it celebrates its 20th anniversary as the regional economic development organization for West-Central Florida. During the event, the Partnership will encourage attendees to join together in defining both their own and the region's lasting legacy.

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (George W. Bush Administration) and CFO Jeff Atwater (State of Florida) will be this year's guest speakers. In addition, a live panel will talk about the Partnership's successes over the course of the last year.
Register »

Manufacturing Association of Florida’s 11th Annual Summit and Marketplace

Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council is hosting this year’s Manufacturing Association of Florida’s 11th Annual Summit and Marketplace at the Baytowne Conference Center, December 3-5, 2014. This is the first time this event has been held in this region, and we are hopeful we will be able to show the rest of the State our support and enthusiasm towards manufacturing!
Read More »

Florida Chamber 2015 Transportation Summit

Our transportation system provides Florida’s businesses and entrepreneurs the necessary building blocks for success. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2015 Transportation Summit on January 29 is an exceptional opportunity to discuss the short-term and long-term priorities and the important role Florida’s transportation system plays in securing Florida’s future. The Transportation Summit will focus on key topics including:
  • Insights from industry and policy leaders
  • The impact of state and federal issues on transportation funding
  • Florida’s long term transportation needs
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with top industry experts, business and thought leaders from across the state
Register »

Enterprise Florida Partners with venVelo to Support GENICON’s Continued Growth

Enterprise Florida announced today that it was matching venVelo's investment in GENICON, a Winter Park, Florida company recognized as a leader in the medical-device market focusing on the design, manufacture, and distribution of over 200 different products. This new funding will allow GENICON to complete the construction of a second clean room, bringing more of its manufacturing in-house and leading to over 30 new local jobs.

Enterprise Florida’s Minority & Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Capital (MaSBEC) division partners with outside organizations to provide small, minority, and entrepreneurial companies with training, development, and financing options. It has an extensive network of state, federal, and non-profit resources ready to assist small businesses in accessing capital, entering new markets, and creating revenue growth and job creation.

"venVelo is fortunate to have its investment in GENICON enhanced by the involvement of Enterprise Florida," said N. Michael Wolsonovich, a venVelo board member who joined the GENICON board to represent outside investors. "Our joint financial investment, coupled with the other resources that Enterprise Florida and venVelo bring to the table, will support GENICON’s continued double-digit revenue growth. That’s good for investors, GENICON, our community, and the entire state."
Read More »

JKG Group, Inc. Announces Relocation of National Corporate Headquarters to Deerfield Beach

JKG Group, Inc., a world-class marketing support services company, announced today the relocation of its National Corporate Headquarters and production facility to Deerfield Beach, Florida. Officials from the company worked with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council, CareerSource Broward and Florida Power & Light's Economic Development Division on the project that will result in the relocation of 85 existing jobs at an average salary of approximately $61,176 plus benefits. The company will invest $2.1 million in capital and relocate its current headquarters and production facility in Boca Raton to the Quiet Waters Corporate Park where it will lease approximately 87,600 square feet of space, representing the second largest lease transaction to date in 2014 in Broward County.

"It was crucial that we secured a larger, more efficient office and production facility to consolidate our current and projected future space needs while retaining our current labor force and also being able to attract the highest quality new employees," said Bruce Gittlin, Chief Executive Officer of JKG Group. "Our ability to access a much larger labor pool in Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County was a primary motivating factor. We appreciate all the combined efforts of the organizations that assisted us in preparing for this move including Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council Chairman Ray Ferrero, Jr. and Managing Director Robin Ronne, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance/CareerSource Broward Director of Workforce Development Jack Bennings, and Florida Power & Light Director of Economic Development Lynn Pitts."
Read More »  

Internet Security Firm Vir-Sec Targets Clearwater for Headquarters, R&D Lab

Vir-Sec, a Maryland software company with high ambitions of revolutionizing Internet security, is considering several locations in the downtown Clearwater area to become its new corporate headquarters and R&D lab. Vir-Sec founder and majority owner Chris Murphy said his company is beginning to hire up to 50 employees now with expectations of expanding to more than 200 workers by 2018. "We're coming. It’s definitive," said Murphy, who made Tampa Bay his home in 2011 and is eager for a handful of workers from Vir-Sec's Reston, Va., lab and Millersville, Md., offices to join him. "Our goal is to be a part of revitalizing downtown Clearwater."

Vir-Sec's goal is to triple revenues within 18 months by providing cloud-based management services and using its technology for state and local law enforcement and emergency management to securely share information. Vir-Sec also recently received an export license, letting it sell its product for public safety contracts in Central and South America. Vir-Sec was offered $5.2 million in government tax incentives for the relocation, Murphy said, but has not received formal documentation. The company had sought economic development grants and loans to defray costs of the relocation and buildout. Open positions range from computer programming and network security to advertising to office personnel. Given the nature of the work, Murphy projected an average salary level of $82,000.
Read More »

Enterprise Zones Offer Sales, Corporate Tax Benefits

In 1982, the Florida Legislature enacted the Florida Enterprise Zone Act to address the impact distressed and blighted areas around the state have on communities. Recognizing the inherent levels of unemployment, physical deterioration and economic disinvestment in impoverished areas, the act approved certain tax incentives for businesses operating in these targeted communities. Through the use of tax benefits and regulatory relief, state and local governments incentivize the private sector to revitalize these designated areas by investing resources in new development or refurbishing existing buildings. Few business owners may be aware of the benefits available to qualifying businesses.

Now managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, there are currently 65 designated enterprise zones throughout Florida, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County and two in Palm Beach County. The zones are designated by the Legislature based on certain criteria, such as pervasive poverty, unemployment and general distress. The state tax benefits provided by the act are approved by the Department of Revenue, and other benefits such as discounted utilities are offered by local governments in counties that contain enterprise zones. Generally, to qualify for benefits, an expanding business or new business must be located in an enterprise zone and must create new jobs (an eligible business). Mapping is available to determine if a business is located within an enterprise zone. With respect to new jobs, an eligible business must prove at the time it applies for benefits that it has more full-time employees than it did 12 months prior to the date of application.

The FEDC 2015 Legislative Agenda includes renewal of Enterprise Zones beyond December 2015. It is important that you raise your voice to help FEDC protect this valuable economic development tool! Read More »

Century Chamber & Haas Center To Explore Economic Development In Century

Economic development efforts in the Town of Century are getting ratcheted up, through a new partnership with the University of West Florida. The Escambia County Commission voted unanimously last week to approve the contract between the Century Chamber of Commerce and the Haas Center, for the latter to take over implementation of a plan it developed for Century.
Read More »

IRIS Wins Grand Prize at Inaugural Innovation Awards

ntelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) was named the first place winner and recipient of a $100,000 cash prize at the inaugural Innovation Awards, a business plan competition designed to fuel technology development in Northwest Florida. Held Friday, November 7 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, the Innovation Awards was presented by Innovation Coast, Space Florida, and the Florida SBDC Network.

IRIS was selected among the top 10 presenting finalists to compete before a live panel of judges for cash prizes valued at more than $215,000. In addition to the grand prize of $100,000, second place received a $50,000 cash prize sponsored by Space Florida, the state’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization. Third place was granted a $5,000 prize package of business services sponsored by the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, three of the 20 semifinalists received a Microsoft BizSpark Plus subscription, Microsoft software and Azure services valued at $60,000.
Read More »

Gainesville Named 8th Best Metro Area for Military Retirement

Gainesville was recently ranked the 8th best metro area in the nation for military retirees, according to a new study commissioned by USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. Orlando, the only other Florida city on the list came in ranked slightly higher at 6th place. The 2014 "Best Places for Veterans: Military Retirement" list identifies U.S. metro areas that offer more opportunities to maximize military retiree benefits and find employment that aligns with military skills.
Read More »

Job Links

Gulf Power Company
Community & Economic Development General Manager

University of South Florida
Economic Development Program Director

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Vice President, Business Retention and Expansion

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Vice President, Business Recruitment

City of Hollywood
Vice President, Economic Development – Rural Communities

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Corridor Redevelopment Manager

City of St. Petersburg
Economic Development Analyst

Lee County
Manager of Business Development

City of Coral Springs
Economic Development Manager

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
Vice President, Business Recruitment

City of Boynton Beach
Manager of Economic Development

Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Economic Development Director

Enterprise Florida
Manager, Business Development

City of Eustis
Economic Development Director

Hillsborough County Economic Development Department
Coordinator, Competitive Site Analysis

Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce:
Executive Director

City of Leesburg
Economic Development Director

City of Longwood
Economic Development/Special Projects Manager

Marion County
Economic Development Liason

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Economic Development Initiatives

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Finance & Operations

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

Tampa Hillsborough EDC
Business Development Manager, Business Retention and Expansion

Team Volusia EDC
Marketing and Communications Specialist


FEDC Conference Planning Teleconference

November 19th, 2014 @ 9:30am
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2014 Annual Community Update: The Legacy of Leadership

November 21st, 2014 @ 12:00pm, Hotel Carillon Park
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Manufacturing Association of Florida’s 11th Annual Summit and Marketplace

December 3-5, 2014 @ Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
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FEDC 2nd Annual Winter Symposium

January 15-16th, 2015 @ Lago Mar
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IEDC Professional Development Course: Real Estate Development & Reuse

January 22-23rd, 2015 @ PGA National Resort & Spa
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Florida Chamber 2015 Transportation Summit

January 29th, 2015 @ Honey Lake Plantation
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28th Annual Government Small Business Conference hosted by SBDC TampaBay
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Enterprise Florida

Florida High Tech Corridor

Florida Trend



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